Pittsburgh Skyline

Discover The New Pittsburgh

By now you’ve heard the buzz about the Burgh. Riverfront renewal and sunny skies make its reclaimed waterfront sparkle, while a quirky arts scene is reviving hilly old residential neighborhoods. Though not a single steel mill operates in the city today, Pittsburgh proudly embraces its industrial history along with a new tech economy. It’s where 19th-century architecture, 20th-century grit and 21st-century style merge, with intriguing results.

Pittsburgh’s Growing Districts

Highlighted by the Point, where the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers meet to form the Ohio River, downtown Pittsburgh is also the city’s fastest growing residential neighborhood. It’s the latest in a collection of 89 official neighborhoods whose unique charms define the city’s polyglot character. Carved into hilltops, ravines and riversides, each community has a distinct personality, but shares the same friendly vibe.

Sports, Arts & Recreation In Pittsburgh

Marquee names in both sports and the arts are a downtown draw. The busy Cultural District is home to the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Pittsburgh Public Theater, the handsomely restored Benedum Center and dozens of smaller venues and galleries. The District is a five-minute stroll across the city’s iconic golden bridges from the homes of the Pirates (Major League Baseball) and Steelers (National Football League) on the city’s North Shore. The best way to see the sights: rent a kayak at downtown’s Kayak Pittsburgh and paddle the waterfront. Or borrow a two-wheeler from Pittsburgh Bike Share to pedal along 13 miles of shoreline trail or explore local neighborhoods.

Experience Pittsburgh’s East End

The city’s East End acts as Pittsburgh’s second downtown for two reasons: the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University. The concentration of 40,000 undergraduate and professional students, biomedical researchers and information technology giants like Google lends this district a cool, brainy vibe and an adventurous palette.

Take Lawrenceville: this red-brick Civil War–era neighborhood is now home to the city’s chicest cocktail spots, many of which are doubling down on their prime locations along Butler Street. The owners of Cure, one of the street’s most popular bistros, have added the exotic small-plates restaurant Morcilla nearby. Piccolo Forno is branching out with Grapparia, offering Italian-accented spirits and microbrews. A few blocks away in East Liberty, Spoon and BRGR pull the late-night crowd.

The East End is also the traditional home of the Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History. Their grand Beaux-Arts facade faces Schenley Plaza, an inviting green lawn rimmed with cafes. But don’t miss other adventurous institutions. The Andy Warhol Museum (a.k.a. “The Warhol”), celebrating the hometown hero of Pop Art, and the Mattress Factory, a collection of nervy installation art, are neighbors on the North Shore, along with the beloved Children’s Museum and Carnegie Science Center.

Pittsburgh From The Sky

Want to take it all in from the top? A cable-car ride that climbs the 1,000-foot Mt. Washington—one of Pittsburgh’s famous inclines—is a must. Survey the skyline from the promenades along Grandview Avenue, then descend to the entertainment offerings at Station Square. This grand restoration of the old Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad headquarters honors the city’s hardworking past and its fun-loving present.

For Your Calendar

Thinking of visiting Pittsburgh this spring or summer? Here are some big events you may want to include in your trip.

The Pittsburgh Marathon (Sunday, May 3) attracts 30,000 participants to its citywide course each year, including elite runners, crazies in costumes, 5K joggers and pumped-up pets (who race on May 2).

In a town that loves fireworks—an integral part of every Pirates home stand—PyroFest is a must-see. Held at Cooper’s Lake Campground in Butler County, the two-day event starts May 22 and promises daytime and nighttime productions from around the world. The general admission price of $23 doesn’t include earplugs.

The ever-evolving Three Rivers Arts Festival is a free annual two-week celebration that dances through downtown. Held this year from June 5 to 14, its events include mash-ups of emerging artists, international guest performers, jazz, juried art shows and plenty of fun.

By Christine H. O’Toole

What’s your favorite thing to do in and around Pittsburgh? Tell us below.

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  1. Eugene Bruce says,

    Yes! Pittsburgh is one of those quietly kept secret that is a great place to visit. My first trip there was on business, and after that first time went back a couple more times for pleasure. That’s how much I was impressed on my first visit.

  2. Sharon DeNunzio says,

    I lived in the southern suburb of Pittsburgh called Mt Lebanon when I was growing up . Now, when I come back to visit my parents and other family members, my favorite activities are kayaking on the once dirty Monongahela River (great rental place in easy location on North End) and biking (great rental place downtown near the bike paths) all along the river and across the many bridges on their paved paths. I’d like to bike the Rail Trail from Pittsburgh to Washington, DC this summer with some friends!

  3. Kim says,

    I too grew up in Pittsburgh. This article made me remember some of the best times in my life. I did not realize how special it was when I was there and I did not realize now how much I missed it. Thanks for the article that highlights just how special this city really is.

  4. Ruth Smith says,

    Hello there Pittsburgh, I was born and raised on the Northside, but left there at 16 years old. I am now a true born Texan. and I must say, that Pittsburgh has really cleaned up a lot. when my husband and I married there in 1952, as we left the church, we had soot all over us. I have a lot of good memories there. Ruth Smith

  5. Second Life says,

    I was reborn in Pittsburgh when I was given a new Liver and a chance for a second life.

    May I publically thank Dr. Thomas E. Starzl, the father of human transplantation, and the surgeons and staff of the Starzl Transplantation Institute for giving me such excellent care.

  6. Robert says,

    Point State Park and Fort Pitt are very nice. I was fortunate to be there for 4th of July and the fireworks show is spectacular.

  7. Mark Hutch says,

    Favorite things include having dinner and drinks on the South Side’s Station Square and taking the riverboat over to a Pirates game on a summer night.

    Now, is the season for Penguins Playoff Hockey at Console Energy Center.

    Lets go Pens!

  8. Karen says,

    I lived there my hole life. After my husband died I got out to AZ.
    Now have a small house with no grass to cut no snow an SUN SUN SUN.!!!!!!!!

  9. Loretta M. Caruso says,

    My favorite place to visit in Pittsburgh is Station Square. I also enjoy taking the Gateway Clipper cruise during the summer.

  10. Homesick says,

    Reading this article on Pittsburgh made me miss my hometown. One thing you left out, its friendly and homey. I miss that. I plan to one day move back.

  11. Linda says,

    Oh yeah, I remember and miss living in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, one day I will move back to Pittsburgh again pleasant hills that is.

  12. Judy Brizz says,

    As the team who brought Pittsburgh it’s most recent championship, how could you possibly omit the Penguins from the sports section??? Shame, shame!!!

  13. Fr. Peter Meier says,

    Born in Sewickley, raised in Ambridge with a father who worked the steel mills and taught and a mother who was born in Turtlecreek and schoolmate of Bishop of David Zubic and ordained by Cardinal Wright I am delighted for the refreshing memory of the haunts of my youth.

  14. Anne Frohm says,

    Being a Pennsylvanian, and a GEICO customer, I especially enjoyed your article on Pittsburgh and the buzz surrounding this unique city.

    You are right, we have hilltops, ravines and the historic forming of the Ohio river. We DO NOT, however have a midwestern vibe. We are a coastal city, on the east coast. One of the 13 original colonies, the home of the liberty bell, the Eagles and the Steelers. We certainly are not located in the Midwest Section of the United States.

    Thank You,

    Anne Frohm

    • John says,

      Pittsburgh is absolutely not an “East Coast” city. Not even close. It’s 25 minutes away from West Virginia. Ask people in New York, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Boston if Pittsburg is….they will laugh.

      Appalachian, Mid-Atlantic…..Northeastern is even a bit of a stretch. Pittsburgh shares more in common with Wheeling, WV than anything else. How do I know that? I live here.